This is not a beauty blog. But if it were, it might go something like this:
The skin on my face is dry and flaky.
It’s unseasonably cool in Boston, and as a result, heaters have been turned on to the max recently. Because the building in I work in has the weirdest heating and cooling system and my lab bench is under a vent, I am being slowly desiccated by intermittent blasts of Saharan air. You may have gathered from my last post that I have not been in a good place mentally. So, in an effort to snap out of it, I’ve dubbed April “Postdoc Self-Care Month”.
Step One: Implement a Better Skincare Regimen. The goal is that this will help me feel better and *hopefully* look less bedraggled. Two weeks ago I purchased some products and made a point to spend time caring for my skin. Normally in the evenings, I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and an old-fashioned cotton ball or washcloth to clean the makeup and the guts of failed science experiments from my face. I still do this, but now after washing my beautiful, beautiful face, I also use a moisturizer. I decided to go all in and tried this one: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer. $20 is more money than I have ever spent on 2.5 oz of face goo, but, I have to say it does feel a lot nicer to rub in than the normal grocery store brand I use. I also like the word Toleriane (that’s not a word), which is either a Star Wars planet near Hoth or a recipe for deliciousness that my grandma would have made. I imagine that’s exactly what La Roche-Posay marketing team had in mind. My biggest fear was that it would compound skin problems and give me some nice teenager-esque (that’s not a word either) pimples–but it hasn’t. Yippee.
In the mornings I splash some water around and apply more moisturizer and some sunscreen. Again, I splurged and went for La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Face Sunscreen. Ant-helios? Cool.
My skin care regimen coup de grâce is a weekly face mask. I have never in my life used a face mask and imagined this would be the ultimate in splurge-y self-care. I chose the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Face Mask with Rose Clay. When I put it on I set this egg-timer and marinate feeling like a pink frosted cupcake. When it dings, I rub it off like the instructions describe and inevitably miss some in my hairline.
It’s been a couple weeks of this now, and I’m pretty sure this routine is not doing anything in particular for my skin that my skin wasn’t already doing. However, the ritual of it is relaxing, and I’m doing something for myself which feels good. I’m sorry I lied to you in the title of the post. I don’t have the key to youthful post-doc skin. Postdoc-ing is accelerating my aging. But, I do know that whatever your job is (even if it’s not working in a lab), it’s easy to be too focused on it, to spend too much time either at it or thinking about it, and to forget to make time for yourself. So, in the spirit of this month’s theme, here’s your reminder to take care of yourself. Maybe buy yourself something nice.